New women’s hospital slated for
WINNIPEG – Manitoba announced plans
to construct a new, state-of-the-art women’s hospital on a site directly
across from the Winnipeg Children’s Hospital. The hospital is the
centrepiece of the government’s commitment to a new era of healthcare
for Manitoba women and babies, Health Minister Theresa Oswald said.
The minister also announced the province will expand midwifery positions
and training and invest over $1 million in new supports for maternal and
child-health services province-wide.
“We’re not just building a new hospital, we’re creating a new standard
for maternal care in Manitoba,” Oswald said. “We are committed to making
the significant investments needed to ensure Manitoba women and their
families have access to the very best care possible.”
The new women’s hospital at Health Sciences Centre (HSC) Winnipeg will
be located on the former Weston Bakeries site at the corner of Elgin
Avenue and Sherbrook Street and will be directly connected to the
Children’s Hospital. The province will assume ownership of the Weston
site at HSC under a land-transfer arrangement that will see Weston
develop an expanded bakery on provincial land on Chevrier Boulevard.
Consistent with feedback gathered from the public and healthcare
professionals, the new hospital will offer contemporary, private rooms.
The rooms will be considerably larger than traditional hospital rooms
and will offer a home-like, safe and accessible environment with an
emphasis on patient privacy.
“Overwhelmingly, the message we heard was that women want a
contemporary, accessible, welcoming environment, whether they are in
hospital to give birth or to undergo a surgical procedure,” said Jan
Currie, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority vice-president and chief
nursing officer. “Private rooms with private bathrooms, as well as
enough space for patients and their families, is a priority as we move
forward with the design of this important new facility.”
The new hospital will employ leading-edge technology to expand the range
of experts available to birthing centres in rural and northern Manitoba.
It will build on a 24-hour video link between Thompson and the neonatal
intensive care unit in Winnipeg, expanding the link to other rural and
northern birthing facilities, so experts in Winnipeg can actually see a
patient who may need their help.
The new hospital will also offer redesigned space dedicated to
facilitating HSC’s role as a teaching and academic centre.
Development of a functional plan for the new women’s hospital is under
way. Demolition of existing infrastructure will commence soon after the
province assumes ownership of the site in October 2009.
The province also confirmed it will implement all of the recommendations
from the Maternal and Child Health Services (MACHS) Task Force, which
was established by the minister of health in March 2007. The task force
made 20 recommendations and suggested 25 initiatives to build on the
maternal and child healthcare services available in Manitoba.
Dr. Brian Postl, president and CEO of the Winnipeg Regional Health
Authority (WRHA) and co-chair of the MACHS Task Force, said the
recommendations address a number of challenges facing many
mothers-to-be, including accessing services close to home or getting the
necessary supports when they are forced to leave their home communities.
“The task force focused on practical solutions, where change can be seen
and measured,” Dr. Postl said. “The task force members are pleased that
government has decided to act so quickly after receiving the report.”
Dr. Cheryl Greenberg, medical director of the WRHA Child Health Program,
said implementation of the task force recommendations will further work
already done toward an integrated and accessible healthcare network for
“This will clearly have a very positive impact on the health and health
outcomes of the infants, children and youth of Manitoba,” Dr. Greenberg
To view the full task force report, visit